A few laughs and a ‘fat’ endorsement at launch
The Family Party
20 Sept 08
PAPALI’I launch: A few laughs and a ‘fat’ endorsement!
Picture: (left) Peter Fatialofa speaking at the launch (right) Poutoa Papali'i with Tofiga Fepulea'i and Richard Lewis at the Otara Markets
Family Party Manukau candidate Papali’i Tuifaasisina Poutoa PAPALI’I launched his Manukau East campaign at the Otara Recreation Centre today with a hearty endorsement from Pacific icon, Peter Fatialofa.
“I was a Labour man but you’ve got my vote,” said Mr Fatialofa. The sentiments were shared by others, including the secretary of the Otara Pacific Island Church who recalled Mr Papali’i being the first of his generation to obtain a University degree. “You were first to get a degree and we were so very proud. Today, you are leading again and I am so happy that we have one of our own to vote for,” he said.
The launch was MC’d by Laughing Samoan’s front man, Tofiga Fepulea’i. “Family is very important to me. I support Poutoa and his party and wish them all the best in their campaign. It's what our community needs,” he said.
Born in 1958 in Samoa: the eldest child of Pailate and Lanuola Papali’i who hail from the villages of Sapapalii and Saleimoa respectively, his family arrived in Otara in 1962. Today, Otara is home to four generations of the Papali’i family. During his speech Mr Papali’i reflected on the Otara community as he remembered it.
“And so I reflect again back on my own childhood, the sight of earthmovers and tractors clearing the farmlands and landscaping desolate areas in Otara represented for me the birth and innocence of a new community. I witnessed harmony and happiness that characterised the vast majority of families in our community. Families weren’t necessarily rich compared to today’s standards. But they were functional. They were healthy. They were safe. And they were happy. They were also ambitious and had high hopes for the future. Our parents worked hard and sacrificed much so we could have an education and a better start in life. As a community, we shared a societal conscience that knew right from wrong. Good from bad. We knew the boundaries and consequences of bad choices. Interestingly, we didn’t derive this conscience from the laws or from government. We derived it from family and a generation of parents who cared enough to show us the way. Indeed, the standout aspect that underpinned everything that was good was the family. 46 years later, it pains me to admit that this is no longer the case.”
Mr Papali’i attributed many of the issues in South Auckland to family breakdown and the demise of traditional family values. He pledged to uphold the traditional values of the community if elected. “I ask you to vote for the candidate and political party that best reflects the traditional values of our people and our electorate. The Family Party is that vehicle and I present myself to you to as that candidate,” he said.